Farm safety – personal factors

Mar 11 22:39 2020 peter main Print This Article

agricultural safety in a rural setting

There are a number of significant factors concerning the type of family and workforce that can affect safety on a farm.

Children and young people

A farm environment is often a family environment as well,Guest Posting meaning that children and young people are actively involved. They may be involved in doing the actual work itself, or they may be simply involved in being around machinery, animals and crops simply by nature of the environment itself.

This inevitably means that they are exposed to risks which may well be beyond their comprehension or understanding, and this places a greater responsibility on the adults and family members to both identify potential risks, and make sure that children and young people in a farm environment are not exposed to them.

Older workers

At the other end of the spectrum, farm work and farm life mean that people often do not retire, especially if they own the farm itself. Also, historically workers on a farm would either live in a farm dwelling or nearby, and a lot of their life would be focused on the work of the farm. This means that retirement does not happen in the same way that it would in an office or factory environment.

The issue in terms of safety is that as people get older, by the very nature of ageing, they get more infirm, and are often slower to react than younger people might be able to. Whilst this is not always the case, and is a horrible generalization in one sense, statistically it tends to be true.

It means that older people are more likely to be exposed to risks that they are unable to cope with as well, than if they were younger.

Transfers to light duty

Often in a factory or office environment, an assessment will be made of someone's capability to do different physical tasks, and in the event they are not able to perform them properly, are quite often be transferred to what are known as light duties.

This is unlikely to be able to happen on a farm. It means that anyone who is of any age where they are not able to perform the tasks that are needed, is either likely not be employed in the first place, or if it happens to a current employee, they are likely to either have to leave, or carry on doing work that maybe having a detrimental effect on their physical or mental health.

Special care

Special care is a phrase used when talking about the needs of people who are exposed to different types of hazardous risks and are involved in any type of hazardous occupation. There will normally be an assessment done to see what help is needed, and in what way this can be delivered.

In a farm environment this is very difficult to do, and on the whole is not done under the banner of any legislation.

Any special care that is delivered is normally done within the context of the farm or farm management deciding for itself what special care is needed, and for whom. Whilst this is good, it lacks the statutory backing that is really needed to make sure the care is long-term, and is delivered properly without any type of undue influence or threat of it being taken away at any point.

Farm operators

All the health and safety issues of a farm to a large extent depend on the type of farm operator.

Whilst many are family-owned, many farms are either run as full-time businesses, run simply for a supplemental income and sometimes run almost as a hobby, or with a specific aim in mind such as wine production or something similar.

This means that the nature of the farm operator will play a significant part in their understanding of environmental and personal factors in risk management, and their willingness to address these to make sure that the farm is as safe as it is practicable to be.

Peter Main is a freelance journalist who specialises in writing about agriculture and farm machinery, with a special focus on manufacturers to provide powerful tractors such as theKubota L Series and also writes about the importance of checking andverifying manufacturers parts as an important component of deciding which type of tractor to buy.

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peter main
peter main

peter main is a freelance writer

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